Thursday, August 25, 2011


For modular home factories, losing a builder can have devastating effects on the bottom line.  There are many reasons for them to leave but is that the end of the story?  Most Sales Managers just ask their sales reps to follow up and let them know why Joe Builder left them.  The sales reps are reluctant to do it and usually blow it off.

So why do builders leave a modular home factory?  There are 5 main reasons, 3 of which are not going to be overcome and 2 that can be rectified with some work and dedication.

The three that probably won’t come back are:
  • Builders you intentionally dropped because they sucked the life out of your business
  • Builders who jump ship any time they find a lower price
  • Builders who are geographically too far from your factory because of rising freight costs

That leaves the builders that left the factory but you might have a chance at getting back.  The customers you have the best shot with are those you unintentionally pushed away because of a glitch in the process, such as delivery, billing or service problems, and those who are pulled away by competitors who offered them what they perceived as a better value.

The sales rep might know the real reason the builder left but may be reluctant to share it with management.  The only one that can really answer the question is the builder.  But timing is everything.  Don’t call them right away and ask them why they left.  Give them a month or two to either cool down or maybe realize that leaving was maybe not the best decision.  This is a job for the Sales Manager or the President of the company to make.

Contacting them after two months shows them that the factory cares about them and wants to try and repair whatever caused them to leave.  Listen to their complaints and try to pinpoint the real reason they left. 

The next step is the hardest.  Ask intelligent questions, like, “What was it that brought you here in the first place? What did you want? What's changed? Where have we disappointed you?"

Then listen to them and demonstrate that they were heard.  Nothing irritates a person more than being ignored.  Listen and learn.  You might find that other builders are having the same concerns and are ready to jump ship.

And finally, simply ask for their business.  As the old saying goes…
”Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” 

1 comment:

Builder Bob said...

Coach, you are right on the money with this article.
I've been with several companys and each time I left and went with another one, the old comapny never called or asked why I left them. I probably would have gone back if they had just solved the small problem and asked me to come back.